Sexual violence victims benefiting from Offender Levy

  • Amy Adams

Victims of sexual violence and their families are receiving financial grants and support services thanks to the Government’s Offender Levy, says Justice Minister Amy Adams.

The $50 levy, which generated more than $3.6 million in the 2014/15 financial year, is imposed on all offenders at the point of sentencing.

“The Offender Levy generates funds that help ease some of the financial and emotional pressures faced by victims of serious crime. It also ensures offenders contribute to addressing the harm their offending has caused,” says Ms Adams.

“Last year the levy funded over $2.5 million in additional support and services for victims of sexual violence, including $1.7 million for specialist sexual violence court victim advisors. These are trained staff experienced in working with sexual violence, who support some of our most vulnerable victims through the court process.

“The levy helped around 8078 victims who received support in the 2014/15 year.

“The offender levy also funded financial assistance such as travel grants for those victims who need to travel to attend court or parole hearings, and grants to families of homicide victims for funeral expenses, lost income and counselling.

“In total, more than 3400 victims were helped by financial assistance grants in 2014/15.

“Since the levy was introduced in 2010, more than $20.2 million has been collected, enabling some 20 key victim support initiatives which were not previously available.”

Ms Adams says putting victims first is important to the Government.

“We are continuing to focus on developing a stronger response to family violence and strengthening efforts to better support victims across the justice sector.

“This includes establishing a new Victims Code, appointing the inaugural Chief Victims Advisor to Government and launching a National Home Safety Service to improve the safety of family violence victims and their families at the highest risk of further violence,” Ms Adams says.